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Month: December 2012

Capitol Lakes participates in Go Big Read

the third consecutive year, the readers who live downtown in the Capitol Lakes
Retirement Community were engaged in the Go Big Read program in a variety of
ways.  Three dozen men and women met to talk about Radioactive during one of three
scheduled small group discussions. The film Silkwood was viewed and discussed one
afternoon by a small group.  An organized
group from Capitol Lakes attended Lauren Redniss’ talk at Union South on
October 15.  Capitol Lakes also provided
a venue for two guest speakers from the faculty. People from the campus and the
general public were welcome to attend these talks.
Robin Valenza, speaking at Capitol Lakes
On October 11, Robin Valenza (UW-Madison Assistant Professor
in the English Department) provided a history of highly illustrated narratives in
her lecture “How the Comic Book Grew Up.” Valenza
discussed the evolution of comics into a respected literary form, especially with
the publications of graphic literature such as Art Speigelman’s Maus, Watchmen by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons, the works of Will Eisner,
and the Batman graphic novel, The Dark
Knight Returns

Cathy Middlecamp (Associate Professor of Environmental Studies,
Howe Bascom Professor of Integrated Liberal Studies and Nelson Institute for
Environmental Studies faculty) spoke at Capitol Lakes on October 23. Her very
informative lecture “Uranium and U” featured a wide range of opportunities for
audience participation, as well as safe, hands-on examinations of several forms
of radium. Middlecamp played an intriguing excerpt from a recorded interview
with one of the surviving “radium girls” who had once painted clock faces using
brushes dipped in radium. Middlecamp’s audience that day included a veteran
whose military service had required him to be on a tug in the Pacific during
the A-bomb tests. He affirmed Middlecamp’s assertions about the half-life of
Capitol Lakes’ Go Big Read volunteer resident coordinator Ginny
Moore Kruse worked closely on plans with resident June Weisberger Blanchard.
(Each has UW-Madison Emerita status.) Ginny remarked that there was intense
interest in Radioactive due to its
format, its dual subjects: the Curies and the continuing impacts of their
discoveries. “One person referred to Radioactive
as a ‘feast for the eyes.’” What was a visual challenge for some became for
others an exciting exploration of a new type of bookmaking. A few readers want
to find out about graphic literature. Many were stunned by new information
about the Curies. Lauren Redniss’s career has generated curiosity and several
people have expressed an interest in borrowing my personal copy of her book Century Girl.”
Ginny expressed appreciation for the support of Capitol
Lakes Community Development Director Mary Hanson and the campus Go Big Read committee
chair Sarah McDaniel (UW Libraries). According to Ginny, “The Capitol Lakes
staff was behind it, and so were campus representatives who became involved. Due
to our substantial experiences with The Immortal
Life of Henrietta Lacks
and Enrique’s
, early last summer people began to ask me about when we would
discuss Radioactive. Midst all the
concerts, lectures, art exhibits, films and other intellectual and aesthetic
opportunities at Capitol Lakes each month, it’s no surprise to me that people already
look forward to the next Go Big Read!”  
Carrie Kruse, Director College Library

Still time to sign up for spring semester!

Big thank yous to all of the instructors who have signed up to use Radioactive in their spring semester courses!  Instructors and faculty: if you haven’t yet signed up to use Radioactive next semester, you can do so with the form right here.

If you’re not sure yet whether the book will fit into your syllabus, that’s just fine!  Email us at gobigread @ with your campus mailing address to receive a review copy.  If you do decide to use the book, you can sign up to join our list of participating courses, using the form linked above.

We’re excited to work with you!